Kent contributes to Medway’s biggest gaming festival

Sam Wood
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Digital Arts from the Kent will feature prominently.

Staff and students from the University are looking forward to participating in the Medway Rapture Gaming and Creative Festival on 3 and 4 July 2021.

Taking place at the Historic Dockyard Chatham, the Festival, whose core theme is Medway Creative, will demonstrate the wealth of regional opportunity in creative arts, science, engineering, technology and video game creation.

The University, which is a lead partner, will contribute with four exhibitions:

Cellular Dynamics – a collaborative performance between Dan Harding, Head of Music Performance, and Professor Dan Lloyd of the School of Biosciences. This project merges captivating, high-resolution imagery from cutting-edge biological research with live piano performances, creating a meditative atmosphere for festival attendees to enjoy. The combination of projections with music invites the viewer to consider the fundamental processes within living cells, and presenting the laboratory as a thing of beauty, with science and art as one.

The Kent School of Architecture and Planning (KSAP) will be hosting show reels of the School’s digital programmes of MA Architectural Visualisation (MAAV) and MSc Bio Digital Architecture (MBDA), demonstrating how architecture skills can be applied throughout sectors, particularly in digital arts. A 2.5 metre long model of Rochester Castle’s wall will also be present as a target for a display of projection mapping. This will involve a light display being projected onto the scale model, featuring unique designs of student work that give the impression of the building being in motion.

The School of Engineering and Digital Arts (EDA) will be highlighting the extensive success of its alumni and current students, with monitors broadcasting a show reel of creations, including segments of art from the Lion King (2019) on which several former EDA students worked. EDA will also host an interactive Virtual Reality (VR) station, in which attendees can wear headsets allowing them to engage in the virtual world of students’ work, including exciting new projects and games. The headsets and monitors will be socially distanced and cleaned between users.

The School of Art’s Music and Audio Technology (MAT) will host a Listening Room of electroacoustic compositions and song writing utilising technology by staff and students. Another virtual reality exhibit, ‘Breaking the Chains’, allows the user to navigate through two gallery rooms. The first room features historical pioneers such as Ada Lovelace, Charles Babbage and Alan Turing providing the history of the first computer, whilst the ‘Jazz Room’ invites the user to meet some of the great jazz improvisers performing their repertoire.

Professor Catherine Richardson, Director of the University’s Institute of Cultural and Creative Industries, said: ‘The Medway Rapture Gaming Festival is a superb chance for our staff and students to demonstrate the expertise in digital arts that can be found at the University. It is a major digital festival for Medway, and we are delighted to have played a leading role in it. The University of Kent exhibitions show how many paths there are for everyone attending the Festival to follow, from their interest in gaming to a range of exciting careers in the Cultural and Creative Industries.’